white man's burden


noun

the alleged duty of white colonizers to care for nonwhite Indigenous subjects in their colonial possessions.

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Origin of white man's burden

After a poem of the same title by Rudyard Kipling (1899)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for white man's burden

White man's burden

noun

the supposed duty of the White race to bring education and Western culture to the non-White inhabitants of their colonies
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for white man's burden

white man's burden

A phrase used to justify European imperialism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; it is the title of a poem by Rudyard Kipling. The phrase implies that imperialism was motivated by a high-minded desire of whites to uplift people of color.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.